A few weeks ago, I came across my first red IPA – and it kinda blew my mind by its interesting combination of red ale with IPA tendencies.
Made from darker-roasted malts, red ales tend to have a clean taste, with a slightly bready, sweet flavor and a drier finish. They’re quite drinkable, good beers.
IPAs share a similar consistency with red ales, but tend to be lighter in color, less sweet and, of course, have a stronger, more bitter hops flavor.
In the case of CascaZilla IPA from Ithaca Brewing, it gets its red color from the the dark malts used in the brewing process, and the bitterness from a combination of Crystal (earthy) and Chinook (pine) hops, as well as Cascade and Amarillo (both floral and slightly citrus) hops used later for additional flavors and aroma. At 6.5% ABV, it’s on-par with most IPAs in this style.
While I didn’t get much aroma, the taste is wonderfully malty-sweet with a bit of grassy, pine flavors from the hops. It’s ever so slightly sour with a dry finish, and lingering hops flavors that stay in your mouth.
Overall, it’s a good, East-Coast style IPA that’s bitter, but isn’t too heavy-handed on the hops, so I’d recommend it to any casual IPA fan. It’s also available year-‘round, so finding it shouldn’t be too hard.